The Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, one of the oldest and best collegiate jazz festivals in the country, proudly celebrates its 50th anniversary with an all-star lineup of the industry’s most notable performing artists, as well as some of the country’s leading college bands.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Jazz Festival kicks off with a Gala Opening Concert featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Elmhurst College Jazz Band on Thursday, Feb. 23; and closes with a concert on Feb. 26 by the Bill Holman Big Band, featuring an original commemorative composition by Bill Holman.
Other Festival headliners include pianist Michael Abene, baritone saxophonist Denis DiBlasio, tenor saxophonist Pat LaBarbera, drummer Dennis Mackrel, bassist Rufus Reid, trumpeter Bobby Shew, the Patrick Williams Big Band and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Each February, the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival welcomes the industry’s top professional musicians and the nation’s leading college bands for three days of performances and education. The college bands take turns performing for some of the greatest names in professional jazz today, who offer critiques and award honors in a variety of areas. Each night of the Festival concludes with an exciting performance by one of the headliners.
The Festival begins at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, with the High School Invitational, followed that evening by the Gala Opening Concert: Dee Dee Bridgewater with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band.
Friday’s evening session begins at 7:30 p.m. with performances by college ensembles, a Jam Session by the Festival judges, and a performance by the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Saturday evening’s session begins at 7:30 p.m. with performances by the University of Kentucky and Elmhurst College, and closes with a feature performance by the Patrick Williams Big Band.
Sunday’s session begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at 4:30 p.m. with the Bill Holman Big Band. The Elmhurst College Jazz Festival will be held in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Jazz Festival website.